WASHINGTON -- Paul Goldschmidt's bat has been the focus of conversations in Arizona all year.It was a hot topic when it went cold to start the season, and it was the center of attention last month when the D-backs first baseman began hitting again.On Tuesday at the All-Star Game presented
WASHINGTON -- Paul Goldschmidt's bat has been the focus of conversations in Arizona all year.
It was a hot topic when it went cold to start the season, and it was the center of attention last month when the D-backs first baseman began hitting again.
On Tuesday at the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard -- which the American League won by outslugging the National League, 8-6 -- the eyes of the baseball world were on Goldschmidt, and the slugger again demonstrated his concentration on the process and not the results, only this time in front of 43,843 fans at Nationals Park and millions watching across the globe.
Goldschmidt, who hit third as the NL's designated hitter, struck out swinging on a slider from American League starter Chris Sale in the first inning in his first at-bat. He rebounded next time up when he faced Rays starter Blake Snell in the third and walked on six pitches.
It was a symbolic performance for Goldschmidt. The first baseman, who was hitting .198 on May 22, is hitting .369 with 10 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, 33 RBIs, 25 walks and 30 runs scored since June 1 because of his ability to adjust.
"There's something that I have taken away from the experience each year," Goldschmidt said. "This year, it's definitely a big honor that the coaching staff thought highly enough of me to put me in the starting lineup as the DH when there are so many great guys that can hit. I appreciate that."
Goldschmidt is 2-for-15 in six career All-Star Games, with his last hit coming in 2015. He was replaced in the fifth when Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina entered as a pinch-hitter.
"It's just so fun to be able to go out and compete against the best in the game," Goldschmidt said. "It's always a great experience."
Left-hander Patrick Corbin, who was an All-Star for the second time and for the first time since 2013, didn't pitch, and he didn't expect to after he started Sunday against the Braves. He still bought 18 tickets for family members and friends, so they could take in the experience with him.
"They let me know that I was the last resort type of thing, but I prepared to pitch just in case," Corbin said. "It's still been so fun being here and being able to enjoy it. It's a great time."
Right-hander Zack Greinke, who was selected to the All-Star Game for the fifth time, also didn't pitch. The veteran threw a season-high 7 2/3 innings against the Braves on Saturday in his last start, and the D-backs need a rested Greinke for the second half of the season.
The D-backs, who trail the Dodgers by a half-game in the National League West, resume play Friday with a three-game series against the Rockies at Chase Field. Arizona ended the first half strong, winning 14 of its last 19 games.
"I go into it expecting it to be a really tough battle in the second half," Greinke said. "There's a lot of competition, and we need to be focused the whole entire time or else it will be tough for us to make it if we don't keep the foot on the pedal the entire time. Our division is very tough, and it's not just one team we are competing against, it's multiple teams."
The trio of D-backs All-Stars are optimistic for good reason. Their 53 wins at the All-Star break are the most in team history for the second consecutive year, and their 17 series wins before the break is also a franchise record.
"We're excited about the group of guys we have going forward, and we probably could have had a couple of bullpen guys [at the All-Star Game] and David Peralta as well," Corbin said. "Having Robbie Ray come back and with A.J. Pollock, we have a really strong group of guys who believe our best baseball is ahead of us."
Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.